RICHMOND, February 29, 2012 – Whether Ron Paul wins the White House in November or not, one thing is for certain; he is not coming back to the House of Representatives. This leaves many wondering who will take up the mantle for liberty after the good doctor has retired.
The obvious choice is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son. Michigan congressman Justin Amash is probably the closest to Dr. Paul in the House. There are, however, others who have been inspired by Dr. Paul’s example and have a good chance at making a splash in congressional elections this fall.
These are just a small fraction of candidates that will campaign under a Libertarian – Republican platform.
Floyd Bayne is running in Virginia’s 7th district in Central Virginia. Bayne will be running in the Republican primary against incumbent, Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader. While Mr. Bayne has a tough battle ahead of him, he will certainly make Cantor’s life more difficult over the coming months. Running to the right of Cantor on many of the issues, Bayne has been criticizing Cantor’s for his votes on the TARP, the stimulus package, as well as the Majority Leader’s hawkish foreign policy.
Note: Floyd Bayne ran as an Independent in 2010 and received 7% of the vote.
Another candidate returning for a second shot is John Dennis, a San Francisco businessman. Dennis will be running in California’s 8th district facing none other than Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Although he lost badly to Pelosi in 2010, Dennis will have more support this time around. He worked on Ron Paul’s campaign back in 2008 and can count on many of Dr. Paul’s followers for support.
Speaking of Dr. Paul, one might be curious about who will take over his seat in Texas’ 14th district which covers most of Greater Houston. One such hopeful is George Harper, running on a Libertarian – Republican platform. Harper is relatively unknown, but if he could gain the endorsement of Paul, he might stand a good chance of winning the Republican primary and carry on the 14th district’s libertarian streak.
For the first, and only, time in twenty years, Bob Goodlatte will be challenged in a Republican primary for his seat representing Virginia’s 6th Congressional district. That challenger will be 20 year Air Force veteran, Karen Kwiatkowski.
She will have the good fortune of running against the author of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation in recent memory. Goodlatte has been a very moderate Republican for many years and will have to defend his questionable record. The Harrisonburg Tea Party favored Kwiatkowski 62% to 38% against her primary opponent, solidifying her image as the true constitutional conservative in the race.
Thomas Massie is a name that conservatives should begin to notice. He will be running in Kentucky’s 4th district for an open seat being vacated by the retiring Geoff Davis. The significance of the Massie campaign is that Ryan Hogan, formerly a top aide for Rand Paul, the Junior Senator from Kentucky, is running it. This makes it quite likely that Rand Paul will endorse Massie for the seat, giving him a big advantage over his other primary opponents. If Massie wins the Republican nomination, he will likely win in the general election in this reliably conservative district.
Bill Yarbrough will be challenging incumbent, Pat Tiberi in a primary for the Republican nomination for Ohio’s 12th congressional district. Tiberi would normally be a shoe in for re-election, however his district has been re-drawn with 40% of its voters from a different district. This could give Yarbrough, an organizational development consultant, the opening he needs to connect with these new voters who may not be sold on their current representative.
Other than John Dennis, all of these candidates reside in conservative leaning districts and more than likely make it to the House of Representatives if they win their respective primaries.
These candidates, if elected, will form a new coalition of conservatives who will have the backbone to defend the entire Constitution, and not just the parts that they like. They will be the next generation of statesmen who will promote true conservative values, and prove once and for all that the liberty movement will far outlive Dr. Paul.
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